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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dinner Party

On Saturday, we were lucky to have our friends, Sharon and Fred come to dinner!   And of course, they brought Brandie, their very well behaved yellow lab.  We have traveled in our RV's with Brandie and she has been pals with our two doggies for years now, and she is a very welcome guest in our new home.

Sharon and Fred wanted to come and check out our new digs, and brought us a bottle of wine for a housewarming present!   How nice was that?    We gave them the Grand Tour throughout the house, shared fun and stories and also angst on aging parents and care and concerns about them.

I popped a beef stew in the crockpot earlier in the day, so when it was time for dinner, we had it all done ahead of time.  Sharon brought a salad dish and a lovely red velvet cake for dessert!

I have added something to our kitchen accessories to make entertaining easier.  In going from the kitchen to the formal dining room, I am making multiple trips with dishes, food and clearing away.  So I was using a smaller tray from our motorhome, but it was not even big enough to set 2 plates on it, side by side.  That meant dishes were stacked on top of each other and gunky stuff from one plate was landing on the back of the other.  Plus carrying in the serving dishes, silverware, condiments, etc. was taking too many trips.  Ahhhh I would just buy a larger tray, right?

No go.  I looked around in Appleton at the stores, checked Goodwill and St. Vinnies, then even online for a larger serving tray.   I had hoped for a wooden one, and even moreso an unfinished one that I could stain to match my woodwork.  Then a thought came to mind.

Our fellow RVing buddies, Roger and Lila, had spent time with us out in the desert on our last vacation out west.  At that time, I had seen that Roger had made some lovely trays for Lila to sell at her beading workshops.  They were well-crafted and a great style.  I wrote to Roger to ask him to make one for me, only larger.  He is a fine woodworker and has done some amazing things with wood in their converted MCI bus.  He agreed to make me a tray!  

And here it is, finished by the woodworking artist himself, pictured in his woodshop out in Washington.  It is a very generous 16x24 size.

It arrived here last week, safe and sound---- all ready to be stained.  I carefully rubbed in the stain, and then coated with 2 coats of polyurethane.   Oh my it came out perfect!  Just gleaming and glorious, showing the wood grains to their utmost.

Because I consider this piece a work of art, I requested that Roger please sign and date the tray for me.  It can become a family heirloom in years to come, and the signature will provide provenance.  I covered it with clear tape while staining to preserve the signature.  

As for other projects, I had someone ask me to do a close up photo of how I made the wrought iron brackets into a paper towel holder on the bottom of my coffee station shelf.   Here is a photo showing a stained wooden dowel, some "candle cups" wooden ends that I glued on, and they set right into the openings on the wrought iron brackets.   The brackets were only a couple bucks at Menards (midwest chain home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes) .  The rod just slips into a paper towel roll, and sets into place on each of the openings.  The ends keep it from falling off and allows the rod and towel roll to rotate.  Easy peasy! 

Besides all of our house work, I am keeping up on my production of my recorded instructional DVD's for weaving and sockmachine knitting.  Also creating my sockknitting machine weights.  These are used in the circular sockknitting machines when attached to bent-over silver forks.  I buy one pound deep sea fishing weights, add a keychain ring, and dip them in rubber coating Tool Dip.  Down in the basement I have a little workarea all of my own.  It has an old bench and a vise and a cabinet for tools.  I drilled a piece of wood along the edge of the bench lined with screw heads to hang my weights as they dry after dipping.

My little work area is kinda cute, and has a large window facing south for daylight.  I have some old sawhorses set up for staining trim in the basement instead of out in the cold garage.  Here in the photo are some mop boards we hauled out of the garage attic to put in the kitchen.  Steve cut them all to size, and today I have to go give them one more coat of poly so he can nail them into place.

I know many of you are wondering when we will do some CAMPING!   Well, this poor little motorhome is wondering the same thing.   Don't it look cold and shivering in the Wisconsin Winter Weather? 

Don't worry.... we are planning to head out soon. 
 Just a few more details to finish up and we will get in some vacation time into the south.. 
somewhere warm! 


  1. It has been extra warm this year down here near the Texas Gulf coast. I expect it to get cold any day now, but Spring will be here soon. The wild flowers have been blooming for awhile. Better hurry or it will be hot down this way.

  2. We are going to be at the Grand Canyon April 21 - 26. I know you went there a couple of years ago. Where will you be headed this time?

    1. We might be heading to Florida to help with the folks. Otherwise perhaps Louisiana with friends part of the way and then on to Florida. Will see. Plans made in JELLO.... LOL

  3. Beautiful tray, what craftsmanship! How cool that you stained it to match all your woodwork.

    Now it may be harder to find because it will blend in so well...

    We're looking forward to your trip south, too! :c)

  4. Although I used to be quire handy, I don't think I have touched a can of stain in years. I sure won't now, because I'd probably spill it! I love the tray.

  5. It's so nice that you got that lovely tray to assist your serving staff in delivering food from the kitchen to the guests.


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